Bahrain Photography, Prison Podcasting, New Zealand National Library, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, January 30, 2022


The National Weekend: Vintage photo archive ‘The Old Bahrain’ shows island life in simpler times. “As we find ourselves flung headlong into another uncertain year, it’s not surprising that some of us may prefer to peer back through the cloudy gauze of nostalgia. Enter The Old Bahrain: a growing online photographic and video archive that not only enfolds an anxious populace into the past’s comforting arms, but also aims to highlight the huge changes in the country.”

City University of New York: Queer and Trans Prison Voices: A Podcast Archive on Prison Abolition. “By integrating that sonic archive into the podcast medium, this project functions as a digital archive for incarcerated voices, consisting of two tracks: a collection of short-spoken readings by queer and transgender incarcerated authors, and podcast-style interviews with activist scholars, organizations, and sound artists working towards prison abolition.” This is a CUNY “Capstone Project”; what the archive lacks in size it makes up in academic discussion.


Stuff New Zealand: ‘Help us’: The National Library’s unsolvable dilemma. “Rachel Esson has run out of ideas. ‘We’ve tried book fairs. We’ve tried donating.’ After plans to ship 600,000 rarely-used books overseas were halted after months of pushback from the book sector, the National Librarian has a plea to save the books from the pulping machine: ‘We really don’t want to recycle them… help us.’ Esson will not waver​ on her view that the books from the Overseas Published Collection will be officially removed from the library – she just doesn’t know what to do with them after that.”

9to5 Google: Google Search Easter egg celebrates Chinese New Year and Year of the Tiger. “With Chinese Year New set to begin on February 1, 2022, Google Search has added a neat Easter egg to help celebrate the Year of the Tiger.”

CNET: Dordle, a new more evil Wordle, challenges you to tackle two words at once. “First came Wordle. Then came the Wordle knockoffs. Among them is Dordle, a devious word game that isn’t going to let you off easy. It asks you to figure out two five-letter words, but you can only input one word guess at a time. Confused? Play it and you’ll understand.”


New York Times: How Trump Coins Became an Internet Sensation. “What became clear was not just the coin’s unusual origins, but an entire disinformation supply chain that relied on falsehoods and misinformation at nearly every step. Fueling the coin’s success were fake social media accounts that pushed false ads and a fleet of misleading news websites that preyed on partisan discontent. Seen in full, the coin illustrates what watchdogs have long understood: Many untruths that Americans encounter online aren’t created by foreign actors trying to sow division. They simply exist to help someone, somewhere, make a quick buck.”

CNN: Twitter says it has quit taking action against lies about the 2020 election. “Twitter quit taking action to try to limit the spread of lies about the 2020 election, the company said on Friday — a day after another social media platform, YouTube, removed a Republican congressman’s campaign ad because it included a 2020 lie.”


NewScientist: What does Google’s new cookie replacement mean for online privacy?. “Google has been planning for years to scrap cookies, the tiny files stored on our computers as we browse the internet that allow advertisers to track and target us. This week, it announced it is ditching its planned replacement, called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), in favour of a new tool called Topics. Here’s what it means for you and your online privacy.” I’ve been looking for an explainer that lays out the information about FloC and Topics without getting too far into the weeds. This is a good one.

MakeUseOf: How EU’s Ban on Targeted Ads Could Affect Social Media Platforms. “If you use social media in Europe, you could see some changes to how you experience social media, particularly when it comes to ad targeting. That’s because European lawmakers have voted to ban online advertising based on sensitive information. So how exactly could this affect social media platforms?”

Reuters: French Court Upholds 100 Million Euro Fine Against Google for Breaches Linked to Cookie Policy. “France’s Conseil d’Etat, the country’s supreme administrative court, on Friday said it upheld a decision by a watchdog imposing a 100 million euro ($111.46 million) fine on the U.S. tech giant for breaches linked to its cookies policy.”


Built In: Can AI Make Art More Human?. “Technology has also always been a part of painting, from the invention of oil paints to paint tubes to cameras that capture images that the artist can paint from. Each innovation has expanded the possibilities and questions art can explore. In that same tradition, artists using AI are able to delve deeper into how the human mind works, and in so doing, make the black box feel a little less alien.” Good morning, Internet…

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